Reminiscence and Resource Centre












Followed brothers to East Tilblury. - 1948
Working an automatic edge setting machine, the only one of its kind in the factory, Shareman Alfred Greenwood, of Dept 432, has between 800 and 900 pairs of shoes pass through his hands every day. An expert at his job, he knows his machine, which requires special skill to operate, intimately, and tends it with great care. Alfred came to East Tilbury straight from school in Grays in January, 1939, and going into Dept 432, has remained there ever since, for the last six years on the same machine. Single, he has been a shareman for more than three years, and besides his work as an edge setter, he has to settle all the materials for finishing for his department.
Alfred has two brothers working at Bata, his brother Jack, who is a floormanager in the leather factory, has been here since October, 1933, while his brother Jim, a stock-keeper in Dept 680, has been at East Tilbury for more than ten years.
Out of working hours, Alfred is also a busy man, for not only does he help to run a Youth Club in Chadwell, but he is also a keen amateur photographer and in conjunction with his brothers devotes quite a lot of time to this hobby.
He also used to be a versatile member of the Bata Concert Party and is a keen entertainer.
In the football season he is a keen supporter of his local team, Grays Athletic, but recently he bought himself a television set, and whenever he has a spare evening to himself he likes to stay at home and watch a good programme.
Alf Greenwood’s Silver Jubilee. - 1963
Congratulations are due to the younger of two well known brothers, who, between them, have served British Bata for more than 52 years. He is Alfred Greenwood, group supplier for men’s shoes, who started 25 years continuous service 25 years ago today. Everyone at British Bata, where he is a well known figure, extends congratulations and good wishes.
He has served with success in various distributive capacities, and has handled hundreds of thousands of pairs of Bata shoes. His brother, Mr Jack Greenwood, is assistant manager of the leather factory, and has been at East Tilbury since the factory’s earliest days.
“It was on Jack’s recommendation that I approached British Bata,” explained Alf, “and I was very pleased when I was successful. My first job was as supplier of women’s fashion shoes - or fancy shoes, as they were known then. I next became a stock-keeper for shoes generally.”
His progress was steady, as he shoed the same quiet efficiency at his work then, as he shows now. He was promoted to group supplier, and was chosen, subsequently, for the post of warehouse manager at Kingston, Jamaica, where he remained for four years, and helped materially to accelerate the progress of the Bata Organisation there. On his return, he served for a brief period as manager of the East Tilbury shoe store, from where he moved to his present position.
LIke all long-service employees, he has seen great changes in the Bata activity. “Merchanidsing and supplying, especially, is more efficient, and better organised,” he said. “To keep abreast with the requirements of the public for that, basically - is what we have to do - needs constant attention and alertness. Operators make the shoes, and it is our duty to organise their supply to the right places, in the right numbers, styles, and condition.
“I am happy in my work, and find great encouragement from the friendly and co-operative spirit of the people with whom I come in contact.”
From 1940 to 1946, Mr Greenwood served in the Eighth Army - in the Royal Army Service Corps, mainly in Egypt.
He is a local boy who has made good, he was born and bred in Grays, where he still lives. He has a daughter who is at school and his main recreation is motoring.

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